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During Prolonged Low-Intensity Exercise, Caffeine Alters Blood Glucose

The effects of caffeine versus maltodextrin during exercise were observed in patients with type 2 diabetes…. 

Researchers examined the effects on blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and blood glucose (BG) associated with the intake of caffeine in comparison to maltodextrin (CHO) during prolonged periods of low-intensity exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers conducted a pilot study on 8 individuals with type 2 diabetes and aged 55±10 years. The participants either received 1 g/kg of CHO or 1.5 mg/kg of caffeine before undergoing exercise. They then exercised for 40 minutes, executed at 40% HR reserve, and recovered for 10 minutes. Their BP and exertion, perceived by the Borg scale, was checked every 2 minutes, and their BG was checked every 10 minutes. The ANOVA test was used for statistical analysis, and a p-value <0.05 indicated statistically significant results.

Neither of the treatments produced significant changes in BP and HR. However, caffeine significantly reduced BG by 75 mg/dL (65% CI; p <0.05) as opposed to maltodextrin during the 40-minute period of exercise.

Practice Pearls:
  • In this study, neither caffeine nor maltodextrin caused significant changes in BP and HR in patients with type 2 diabetes during 40 minutes of low-intensity exercise.
  • 1.5 mg/kg of caffeine reduced BG by 75 mg/dL during exercise; whereas, 1 g/kg of maltodextrin did not produce any significant changes in BG either.

da Silva LA, de Freitas L, Medeiros TE, Osiecki R, Garcia Michel R, Snak AL, Maneck Malfatti CR. Caffeine modifies blood glucose availability during prolonged low-intensity exercise in individuals with type-2 diabetes. Colomb Med (Cali); 2014 Jun 30; 45(2):72-6. eCollection 2014 Apr. PubMed PMID: 25100892.